Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 31, 2007

RESTORING HONOR AND DIGNITY....About a year ago, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline admitted to having a poor memory. "I may be missing someone," Mirengoff said, "but the only high-profile administration offical [sic] I can think of who has faced criminal charges or had to resign in the face of scandal is Scooter Libby, who worked for the Vice President and who is not accused of corruption."

This, of course, prompted my friends at TPM to put together a handy, dandy list of all the administration officials who have faced credible accusations of corruption; and/or resigned in the midst of a scandal.

Of course, that was a whole year ago, and there have been plenty of scandals since. Fortunately, Paul Kiel has released a revised version.

Since a complete catalog of administration officials who've been accused of some form of corruption or abuse of power would be endless, we tried to maintain a high standard for inclusion. Most of those below were the subjects of criminal probes, but we also included officials who were credibly accused of acts that, if not criminal, were a corruption of office (like the U.S. attorney scandal). And even then, such officials were only included if their accusers had them dead to rights (which is why Karl Rove didn't make the cut). We also limited ourselves to officials who were either political appointees or whose actions were so political that they were effectively political appointees (like John Tanner).

It's quite a list, broken up by categories: "Indicted/Convicted/Pled Guilty" (10 Bush administration officials); "Resigned Due to Investigation, Pending Investigation or Allegations of Impropriety" (24 officials); Nomination Failed Due to Scandal (five officials); and "Under Investigation But Still in Office" (three officials).

Not too long ago, it was George W. Bush who promised Americans, "We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves." It was part of his vow to "restore honor and dignity" to the White House.

In retrospect, his assurances are almost quaint.

Steve Benen 8:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (53)

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Comments

Good soldiers all. So willing to sacrifice for the dear leader.

Are we in North Korea yet?

Posted by: gregor on December 31, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Worst President Ever.
Worst Administration Ever.
Dick Cheney - Worst American Who Ever Lived.

Heckuva job, GOP.

Posted by: craigie on December 31, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney - Worst American Who Ever Lived.

Hey! What abut me?

Posted by: charles manson on December 31, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

"After years of false statements and empty promises, it's time for big changes in Washington," Bush said. "We need a president who will finally stand up and fight against the lies and corruption. It's time to renew the faith the people once had in the White House. If elected, I pledge to usher in a new era of integrity inside the Oval Office."

Yup. We have a new era alright.

Don't misunderestimate me, I know integrity when I see it. my regrets to all of those who got caught
doing things.

That reminds me...

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 31, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Martyrs of the Revolution, all of them, rocked to sleep in the hollow of the Invisible Hand.

Someday there will be (for-profit, investor-owned ) schools named after them in every small town.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on December 31, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

In retrospect, [Bush's] assurances are almost quaint.

Geneva Conventions quaint?

Posted by: Monty on December 31, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Manson - Cheney has killed a lot more people than you ever did.

Sorry, but he's worse. Worse than you, worse than McVey, worse than McCarthy, worse than anybody.

Posted by: craigie on December 31, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

err...Geneva Conventions quaint?

Posted by: Monty on December 31, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

All categories get larger if you merely include all the Republicans affected at state or federal level...

*sigh*

Posted by: Crissa on December 31, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Definitely a rogue's gallery of, well, uh, Rogue Republicans...power-hungry, constitution-shredding, law-breaking, democracy-dissing, lying, cheating, thieving Rogue Republicans.

And just the tip of the iceberg, I'm certain.

Posted by: The Oracle on December 31, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the good old days when a nanny scandal would derail a nomination? Nowadays perjury in pursuit of confirmation is no vice. If Democrats can retake the White House, I trust we'll see the return of breathless but confused articles by Jeff Gerth that keep the country tied up in fake scandal for years.

Posted by: jimbo on December 31, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

"...but what the public deserves"

The "public" selected Bush twice. We deserved Bush.

War criminal and liar. And Cheney... the f$%^(%^)% VP.

Disgusting. Despicable. Insane.

PS: And the current group of Repubs running for prez are misfits. Help!!!


Posted by: Jay in Oregon on December 31, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Honor and dignity" doesn't mean what you think it means. "Honor and dignity" means "no Clintons getting a blow job".

Posted by: calipygian on December 31, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK
"We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves."

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. -H.L. Menkin.

Posted by: calipygian on December 31, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: calipygian on December 31, 2007 at 10:16
I see, to avenge oral sex by one man the GOP must avenge it by Haggard, Foley, Allen and Murphy, by Cunningham and Stevens, Delay, and Abramoff, by Delay and Scanlon and by Alberto, by Craig and Flory

Posted by: Xisithrus on December 31, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I see you people are allowing the politicisation of politics to continue apace. I guess anything to get your "Bush Derangemnet Syndrome" fix on.

You liberals make me sick. I used to think Michael Savage was being a little harsh on you people, but that's before I found this place. He's right. Liberalsim is a disease.

Posted by: egbert on December 31, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Your anti-family agenda is showing. No one "Resigned Due to Investigation, Pending Investigation or Allegations of Impropriety." They all just wanted to spend more time with their loved ones.

Posted by: Ross Best on December 31, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not too crazy about the president lying to America and sending Colin Powell to lie to the world (at the U.N.) to take us to war.

I'm rather hoping the next president will be a Democrat who won't do much of that.

I understand the angst of a Republican who is upset that 'their' president is attacked regularly on these blogs. All you have to do to avoid that is get rid of the criminals among your political leaders and we won't have so much to criticize. Complain to your Republican senators and ask them to let Democrats impeach and convict Bush, so we can be rid of him.

Send Bush away and we won't have Bush to kick around.

Posted by: MarkH on December 31, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Eggfart still can't tell the difference between Kevin Drum and Steve Benen.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard on December 31, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

The current Egghead is sounding a little more grumpy then normal. Maybe because his little political fantasy bubble is about pop in a year. So sad. Reality can be so brutal when it rushes in to fill an artificially created void. Hope Eggy wears a helmet.

Posted by: Aaron on December 31, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

All things considered, Bush had a better 2007 than the Congressional Democrats. They gave a standing ovation to William Jefferson, remember?

then there's the bit about Boxer, Pelosi, Feinstein and Murtha steering defense contracts toward their families' businesses. Same as Randy Duke Cunningham, but he didn't think to launder the kickbacks through his family members.

Just a thought. From the point of view of swing voters, both parties have a lot of problems.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on January 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, look!

Comments from trolls without links to mass media sources.

Comments from trolls that don't even have anything to do with the blog post.

Le sigh.

Posted by: Crissa on January 1, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

From the point of view of swing voters, both parties have a lot of problems.

True. But only one is actively working to dismantle democracy.

Posted by: craigie on January 1, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

the politicisation of politics

Best egbert ever!

Happy New Year, and maybe next year we'll have lives.

Posted by: thersites on January 1, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm rather hoping the next president will be a Democrat who won't do much of that.

I'm with you. But any kind of president who won't do much of that would be an improvement.

Posted by: thersites on January 1, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves

He was honestly expressing his personal view.

Posted by: scudbucket on January 1, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

It's just not fair to include people who have only been indicted with people who have plead or been found guilty.

Of course, all the people listed have been convicted or plead guilty, so the Bush administration is, once again, not doing its part for the presumption of innocence.

Posted by: Brian on January 1, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Steve: "In retrospect, [George W. Bush's] assurances [to 'restore honor and dignity' to the White House] are almost quaint."

Quaint? Dude, this material is normally the stuff of black comedy at its absolute, ironic best.

Unfortunately for the clowns at BushCo, Inc., no one is laughing.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii - Go Warriors! on January 1, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

[When you bald-faced lie, your gargage goes bye-bye]

Posted by: Mike K on January 1, 2008 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: "Gonzales, for example, resigned as a result of stupidity in letting the Democrats gin up a fake scandal over the US attorneys."

You're obviously too enthralled by the view to notice that you have your head up your ass.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii in New Orleans -- Go Warriors! on January 1, 2008 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hugh's list of W misdeeds was 60 feet long a few months ago, & he updates it daily.
http://www.netrootsmass.net/Hugh/Bush_list.html

Posted by: eCAHNomics on January 1, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

And here's a photo of Hugh's list as a scroll.
http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2007/11/hughs-scroll.html

Posted by: eCAHNomics on January 1, 2008 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK


Chewing gum in class?

Posted by: Matt on January 1, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

[Banned troll. Content Deleted]

Posted by: cheney on January 1, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

[Banned troll. Content Deleted]

Posted by: cheney on January 1, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Most of the "legacy" and "records" cited by cheney speak more to the breathtaking idiocy and treasonous perfidy of the Republican Congress when Clinton was president than anything Bill and Hillary Clinton did or didn't do. Look at the wording:

"personal malfeasance", "come under criminal investigation" (gee, were they convicted, asshole?), "establish a legal defense fund" (yeah, so what? is that illegal?), "die suddenly" (compared to what? Do you have any proof of wrongdoing, or is coincidence an indictable crime to you?)

Weasel words. And some assertions are simply wrong - the only member of the Clinton Administration ever convicted of anything was Webb Hubbell for bilking law clients long before he came to Washington. Pathetic. Compare to the huge number of indictments and convictions in the Bush Administration, many of whom are also sexual perverts.

cheney, you lying, ignorant sack of malignant dog shit, why don't you go hang out at FreeRepublic with all the other brain-dead, lickspittle right-wing morons???

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 1, 2008 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

[Banned troll. Content Deleted]

Posted by: cheney on January 1, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Your a troll, we ban your words not because we fear them, but because this is out house, and we don't like large amounts of shit on the floor.

Posted by: Aaron on January 1, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Paul Mirengoff = Dwight Schrute

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on January 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

cheney-we as a people also ban and sue people who perpetrate outright lies and slander.

Posted by: Gandalf on January 1, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Given that Bush has continued to slaughter Iraqis, torture innocent people (you know, people who haven't been convicted of anything), and spy on Americans, only an idiot would think that he compares favorably with Congressional Democrats.

And let us not forget - in 2007 it was revealed that his "Justice" Department was firing US Attorneys for failing to be adequately partisan. There is quite simply no way for Democrats to have done anything that even compares with that level of sleaze.

So, MRM, piss off you lying apologist for the scum of the earth who infest the White House.

Posted by: heavy on January 1, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Marler: then there's the bit about Boxer, Pelosi, Feinstein and Murtha steering defense contracts toward their families' businesses. Same as Randy Duke Cunningham, but he didn't think to launder the kickbacks through his family members.

You are truly one worthless, lying, uninformed, sack of shit. Your false assertions are refuted all the fucking time and you just move on pretending it didn't happen (remember your claim about Antarctica from just last week? availability of water in Iraq? insurgents not attacking infrastructure? et al et al et al). Shall I bring out the list?

When you've been busted to the point of humiliation you change handles for a while (spider, calibantwo) and start a new identity to avoid facing up for just how factually inaccurate or out and out dishonest you've been. And when you've got nothing at all you engage in your off-topic "feel good energy news" to try and distract from the issue at hand.

And the most egregious behavior of all is your complete and utter lack of human empathy, Nazi-esque in its casual dismissal of human death and suffering to try and score a few political points or ideological wins. What's a few hundred thousand dead and wounded Iraqis if DVD's are finally selling in Baqouba, right Matt?

At the beginning of this New Year, I think it's only appropriate to remind everyone reading of Stefan's astute observation about you some time back:

You are one soulless, fucking scumbag.

Posted by: trex on January 1, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Your false assertions are refuted all the fucking time and you just move on pretending it didn't happen

trex is right, MRM. If you've got a conscience it doesn't show.

Posted by: obscure on January 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

" From the point of view of swing voters, both parties have a lot of problems."

No, actually they don't, which is why you don't even try to support this bit of silliness, any more than you try to support your other silliness. See you in 2008, moron.

Posted by: PaulB on January 1, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

[Deleted]

Posted by: Mike K on January 1, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a list I found at The Progressive Review
http://prorev.com/legacy.htm

What has happened to the Democratic Party!

Our Clinton Scandal Index

The Clintons, to adapt a line from Dr. Johnson, were not only corrupt, they were the cause of corruption in others. Yet seldom in America have so many come to excuse so much mendacity and malfeasance as during the Clinton years. Here are some of the facts that have been buried.

RECORDS SET

- The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
- Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates*
- Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
- Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
- Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
- First president sued for sexual harassment.
- First president accused of rape.
- First first lady to come under criminal investigation
- Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
- First president to establish a legal defense fund.
- First president to be held in contempt of court
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
- First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

* According to our best information, 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. A reader computes that there was a total of 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself. There were in addition 61 indictments or misdemeanor charges. 14 persons were imprisoned. A key difference between the Clinton story and earlier ones was the number of criminals with whom he was associated before entering the White House.

Posted by: mark on January 1, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

What a clown. Don't forget administration criminals usual reason for resigning their cronified position..."leaving to spend time with family" = getting out of two steps ahead of the federal indictment.

Posted by: CParis on January 1, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

craigie - regarding Cheyney as worst human ever (and, I presume, VP): As an amateur historian, I've always felt that Aaron Burr's actions have been, in modern terms, "spun" to benefit Mr. Jefferson. I give it two years before Cheyney officially and rightfully appropriates Mr. Burr's former position as "worst" VP. I'm saving up for a really good bottle of champagne (but I'll settle for a Pepsi and a conviction).

Posted by: Doug on January 1, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

I see "mark" is trying for dumbest post on the blog. One will simply note the amusing differences in standards - none of his "firsts" involve anyone actually being convicted. Here's a fact for you "mark:" unlike Bush's reign of error, not a single Clinton administration official was ever convicted for anything done while employed by the Clinton Administration. Contrast that with even just I. Lewis Libby who was convicted of several felonies committed at the behest of Cheney.

Compared to Bush, Reagan, or Nixon, Clinton looks like a saint.

Posted by: heavy on January 1, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and just for the record, there were approximately 126 Reagan/Bush officials indicted or convicted - pretty much all of them for criminal acts committed for those administrations. Many of them came back to work under Bush the dumber, giving him a head-start on real criminality.

Oh and oddly, in a stunning two-fer, Bush and Cheney managed to be both be first by having been convicted of criminal offenses before taking office - a total of three drunk driving offenses between them.

Posted by: heavy on January 1, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

"...not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves."

That (as Jay noted above) is the lynchpin phrase.
Heh-heh.

Posted by: Kenji on January 1, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Mr. Bush was ever-so-slightly misquoted. Based on the past few years, you only need to make a couple of small changes to come up with what he really meant:

"We will ask not what is legal, but what we think is right; not what the law allows, but what the public wants."

Posted by: Steve on January 2, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

"We will ask not what is legal, but what we think is right; not what the law allows, but what the public wants."

Wouldn't "what we want" (and the public be damned) be a still more accurate portrayal of Bushco thinking? Legality and constitutionality are still irrelevant, of course.

Posted by: shortstop on January 2, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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